Adventures in Lomo Week


How would you cope if you were loaned five Lomography cameras, four of which you'd never used before, and told you had a week to shoot with them before you had to give them back? Here's how I managed.

Credits: panchoballard

A friend of mine gave me some great news a few weeks ago. He was going away for a week and wondered if I’d like to borrow his small collection of Lomography cameras. My answer was one I didn’t have to think about and I obviously said yes. I knew he had cameras I had never used before: Colorsplash, Actionsampler, Fisheye No. 2 and the LC-A+. I even said I’d take his Diana F+ despite having one of my own – I know every Diana is slightly different so was happy to mess with his for a few days.

There was one catch attached to this generous offer though, a task to focus my thoughts: show me where you live. Obviously he knew where I lived but he also knew that something like that would make me think about what I was doing rather than just messing about. It was a great idea and I relished the thought of getting it started. Straight away I started working up flexi-time at work in preparation for my Lomo Week so I could finish early every day and make sure I still had good light. To go along with my photography I resolved to keep a small diary each evening so I could write this article. Here’s how I fared:

Day One

A beautiful Spring day, I finished work as early as I possibly could and headed for an area North of Bolton called Belmont and in particular, the Blue Lagoon, a small reservoir on the edge of the West Pennine Moors. I had every camera with me in my bag, mostly loaded with Lomography film of 800 ISO. First out of the bag was the Diana, which I was used to using. Next the Fisheye and this is where the fun started. What a great viewfinder – everything looked awesome through it. I happily shot away, hoping these were going to turn out. Likewise with the other cameras.

From there I headed on up to Rivington and Lord Leverhulme’s Pigeon Tower to get some more shots of the countryside around Bolton. Before long it started getting misty so I headed home, satisfied that I’d got some decent shots.

Credits: panchoballard

Day Two

A grey day and not one that inspired me to go out and take photos. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what I did. Because of the greyness I thought it would be a good chance to document the other side of Bolton, away from the lovely countryside and into the town centre, all concrete, discount shops and For Sale signs. I’m afraid to say it didn’t disappoint in revealing all that is bad about the town. There are some good buildings in Bolton but there are also a lot of bad ones, combined with a lot of empty units and a lot of unsavoury characters. Sorry but that’s just how I see it.

My afternoon was summed up by this incident. I saw a group of pigeons feeding on some scraps of food and thought it would be a great shot if I could get them to fly up into the air whilst I captured the moment on the Actionsampler. I walked into the flock expecting them to fly away but all they did was walk. As I carried on pursuing, pointing the camera in their direction, I heard someone shout out, “PIGEON PORN!” Although it made me laugh a little, I mostly felt degraded and fed up with Bolton. It can do that to you sometimes…

Credits: panchoballard

Day Three

An easy afternoon which included some family shots which I felt were stretching the brief of where I live. However, I justified it by saying that without my family the place I live would have no meaning.

Credits: panchoballard

Day Four

A frustrating day. The brief to document where I lived, combined with some poor weather, was making it difficult to stay focused. Despite this, I went to the Reebok Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers FC to get some shots there. They were okay but didn’t feel very exciting to me. A friend came to the rescue and his offer to go to the pub with him that night was readily accepted. Camera bag over my shoulder, my girlfriend and I headed to drink beer, take photos as an excuse to show my favourite drinking holes in Bolton and more importantly, have fun!

Brilliantly, at the pub we met a group of people who knew all about Lomography and we talked at length about the cameras I was using. I thought I was the only one in Bolton but now I know I’m not alone!

Credits: panchoballard

Day Five

Hangover! I managed to drag myself out of bed and down to a local clothes store where my friend’s big band was playing a charity gig. I’m afraid that’s about all I managed today though…

Credits: panchoballard

The Final Day

At last, sunshine! I had only one place left I wanted to visit – Manchester. I only live twenty minutes away and it’s such a photogenic city that it would have been a shame not to go and take photos. I was feeling refreshed after my hangover day and inspired by the sunshine. The LCA+ really shone on this day, it loves sunlight. I shot fast and freely and it paid off. Indeed, I even ran out of film and discovered there was nowhere in Manchester that I could buy film on a Sunday.

Well, almost nowhere. Jessops told me they had two rolls of film but on my way there I walked past Urban Outfitters and remembered that they sold Lomography stuff. I went in and lo and behold, Lomography film! Not just 35mm but medium format too. In fact, their selection of film was better than a dedicated camera store (which is surely a problem for Jessops…).

Credits: panchoballard

So, that was my Lomo Week. I reluctantly handed the cameras back upon my friend’s return, but happily sent the films away to be developed. I’ll let you judge my efforts but overall I was pretty pleased. I learnt a few good lessons but my main one would be: enjoy yourself!

You don’t have to take perfect shots, you just have to have fun and be creative. If you’re not feeling inspired then do something different, do something to get your creative juices flowing. Try some redscale film, or do like I did and shoot in the Actionsampler and then put that same film into the Colorsplash and shoot over it for some double exposure fun. Just enjoy yourself.

Thanks for reading this, I hope you made it to the end. Now, where’s my bank card – I have cameras to buy…

Credits: panchoballard

written by panchoballard on 2011-06-08 in #lifestyle


  1. emilios
    emilios ·

    Lucky u! Cool pics.

  2. jackpumpkinhead
    jackpumpkinhead ·

    Awesome piece! Some cracking pics in there too. Next time you should come over to the nice side of the penines though! ;-) lol

  3. panchoballard
    panchoballard ·

    I do plan on visiting Yorkshire at some point. I used to love going to Scarborough, York is pretty cool and I have some fond memories of Batley funnily enough!

  4. nattykins
    nattykins ·

    Brill article! Manchester is such a good city to photograph, no matter what the weather!

More Interesting Articles

  • How to Take Photos with the Horizon Perfekt

    written by chooolss on 2014-03-23 in #lifestyle
    How to Take Photos with the Horizon Perfekt

    The Horizon Perfekt delivers great photos every time, if only you’d be able to master using it. Here’s a clip that teaches you briefly how to shoot with it!

  • Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    written by tomas_bates on 2015-01-21 in #gear #tipster
    Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    Perhaps you’ve already had chance to try light painting, multiple exposures and long exposures with your Lomo’Instant, but what can you experiment with next? Well, that’s exactly the thought I had which led to giving this Tipster a go. I wanted to shoot Lomo’Instant photos which felt a bit “messier” than what I’m usually used to and to use a technique which would open up new possibilities with the kinds of images I could create with my favorite instant camera. Well, here I go!

  • Reviews on Rewind: Lomography Color Negative 35mm 800 ISO

    written by chooolss on 2014-11-30 in #reviews
    Reviews on Rewind: Lomography Color Negative 35mm 800 ISO

    If you'd be shooting in low light, at night, or in any other situation that would require a high speed film for best results, why don't you try the Lomography Color Negative 800 for 35mm cameras? Allow five of our community members to convince you with their respective reviews in this installment of Reviews on Rewind.

  • Shop News

    A Very Special Portrait Lens

    A Very Special Portrait Lens

    Photos shot with a New Petzval lens are immediately recognizable for their super-sharp focus areas and wonderful swirly bokeh effect. Each New Petzval lens is crafted from brass (just like the original Petzval lens) and features premium glass optics. Together with Lomography, the lenses have been designed and constructed by a team of optics specialists at the Zenit factory in Russia. Zenit are master lens manufacturers and have the skill to build the Petzval lens for use with today’s SLR cameras.

  • Elitechrome 400 EL: Absolutely Retro

    written by wil6ka on 2014-03-14 in #reviews
    Elitechrome 400 EL: Absolutely Retro

    The entire Kodak Elitechrome series belong to my favorite films. From the EB, to the EBX, ED, and EL; they all have great features once you know how to use them well. The EL with its 400 ISO hardly gets any attention, which is also because of the fact that it is more uncommon. But that is about to change with this. Here's some e-love.

  • LomoAmigos Yougofirst Shoot With The LomoKino In Their New Snowboard Movie

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigos Yougofirst Shoot With The LomoKino In Their New Snowboard Movie

    Are you ready for an adrenaline rush? A little while ago, we teamed up with the snowboard and film-making collective Yougofirst and gave them a LomoKino and some film rolls to play with. After a season of crazy riding, jumps and tricks, they have finished their latest movie HETEROTOPIA which features footage shot with our 35mm movie-maker. We had the chance to catch up with Vid and Matic from the collective about the new movie and their experiences shooting analogue on the slopes. It's also our pleasure to showcase the movie here!

  • Testing the ONDU Pinhole Camera Around Germany

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-03-01 in #world #reviews
    Testing the ONDU Pinhole Camera Around Germany

    A few months ago, Lomography made available a whole range of pinhole cameras made out of premium wood. Interested on knowing how good they are, I brought the medium format one on my last trip to Germany.

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Ponzi is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by icequeenubia on 2015-03-01 in #world #news
    Ponzi is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to ponzi for winning Home of the Day!

  • Photo of the Day by freerangechicken

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-01 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by freerangechicken

    Do you think you can beat this kid at doing handstand?

  • Newcomer of the Week: fmonteiro

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-01 in #world #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: fmonteiro

    As a professional photography graduate, Fernando never goes out without carrying at least one camera and treats it as an integral part of his body. Although he uses both digital and analog gears, he still regards using film as a more intimate way of creating images. Let's all welcome our newcomer from Brazil, Fernando Monteiro.

  • Shop News

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    You’ve shouted your analogue love from the rooftops and worn your heart on your sleeve – Now it’s time to take it to the next level and wear it on your skin! Our new Lomography Tattoos are fun, easy to apply and come in five designs.

  • Explore the Wonders of Pinhole Photography with Ondu Cameras!

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-01 in #gear #news
    Explore the Wonders of Pinhole Photography with Ondu Cameras!

    Slow down and take soft-focus snapshots with a pinhole camera today!

  • Tate Holds First Exhibit in Britain Dedicated to Salted Paper Prints

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-01 in #world #news #events
    Tate Holds First Exhibit in Britain Dedicated to Salted Paper Prints

    The show puts the spotlight on rare photographs created through this early photographic technique.

  • Meet the Innovators: Cat Ong

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-02-28 in #people #lifestyle
    Meet the Innovators: Cat Ong

    Coinciding with the relaunch of the Lomography community website is the debut of one of the Magazine's newest series, Meet the Innovators. Here, we'll be talking to some of the game changers in the field of photography to get a closer look on what they do as well as find out their personal insights. For our opening salvo we proudly introduce Cat Ong, Lomography's very own Head of Optic Product Development who counts the research and development of the LC-A family, Russar and Petzval Art Lenses, Diana F+, and Lomo'Instant, among many others, as some of his projects.